Euroscepticism on rise in Europe, poll suggests

Related Topics
image copyrightPA
image captionThe poll, showing growing Euroscepticism across 10 European states, comes two weeks before the UK votes on whether to remain within the EU

Euroscepticism is on the rise across Europe, new research has suggested, with little more than two weeks to go before Britons decide whether to remain within the EU.

Nonetheless, the Pew Research Center report found that a slim majority - a median of 51% - of respondents across 10 EU countries still favoured the EU.

Forty-two percent want more power returned to their national capitals.

Another poll has found most Europeans want the UK to stay in the EU.

The findings, by TNS (in French), contrasted with its survey among Britons, which found that 41% supported remaining within the 28-member bloc, compared with 43% in favour of leaving.

The UK holds a referendum on 23 June on whether it should stay in the EU or leave.

In its poll results released on Tuesday, the Pew Research Center found a majority of people were unfavourable towards the EU in Greece (71%) and France (61%).

That followed a steep decline in EU favourability in France (down 17 percentage points from 2015 to 2016) and Spain (down 16 points over the same period). In the UK, support was down eight points, and in Italy six.

In five of the six nations surveyed in both 2015 and 2016, it found favourability had declined.

Here's a video explaining how the EU works in less than two minutes

media captionHow does the European Union work?

This year, the poll surveyed 10,491 respondents in 10 EU nations from 4 April to 12 May - nations accounting for 80% of the EU's population and 82% of its GDP.

It found the strongest supporters of the EU were in Poland (72%) and Hungary (61%) - compared with just 27% of Greeks, 38% of French and 47% of Spanish.

In Monday's TNS poll, Germany was the country where the greatest number of respondents felt the UK should remain within the EU - 79%, compared with 15% who felt it should leave.

How Eurosceptic is the European Parliament?

  • EPP - European People's Party (centre-right)
  • S&D - Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in Europe (centre-left)
  • ALDE - Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (liberal)
  • EUL/NGL - European United Left-Nordic Green Left (left-wing and Eurosceptic)
  • Greens/EFA - Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens and regionalists/nationalists)
  • ECR - European Conservatives and Reformists Group (right-wing)
  • EFDD - Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (Eurosceptic)
  • ENF - Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (right-wing)
  • NI - Non-attached (stands for "non inscrits" - MEPs not in any group, includes many Eurosceptics or anti-EU)

In Finland and the Czech Republic, 62% supported its continued membership.

A majority of respondents in the 10 countries surveyed in the latter half of May believed the economic situation in Europe would deteriorate if Britain left, except in Germany, where a majority felt it would remain the same.

image copyrightEPA
image captionThe French and German leaders strongly support the EU project - but many ordinary citizens are not so sure

Related Topics

More on this story